To my surprise one morning I awoke and decided that regardless of past events that I really loved Sherrie and she means the world to me. I just knew that she was the woman for me; most the time we have a right laugh together, I could actually see myself growing old with her.
So I started to plan out my angle of attack before Christmas 2005, when my mother (Beverley) called me up one morning asking if we would like a weekend break in Europe as our Christmas present. It was like an epiphany, the light bulb in my mind switched on and completely blinded me, and all of a sudden my battle plan had a romantic location.
Next I had to ask her farther for permission, as in the past she had mentioned on a few occasions that he is an old fashioned kinda guy and would really appreciate the gesture. I knew he would approve as we get on so well, mind you in a worse case scenario even if he had said no, I was still going to ask her. So new years eve (2005) when Sherrie went for a walk with her brother Paul, I seized the opportunity and asked Paul for his daughters hand in marriage, to which he replied by diving and knocking me onto the spare bed laughing like a giddy school boy, saying “are you kidding? Yes of course you can”.
Now I had official permission, I decided to let my mother in on the secret, told her my cunning plan and asked about engagement rings, as to date I have never had an in depth discussion with anyone regarding engagement rings….like i cared. But this aging cynic was being turned from the dark side to see the light, over the next few weeks I worked hard planning how I could make this happen without Sherrie catching wind of my plan. For those of you who know her well, she has a sixth sense for sniffing out secrets or finding presents she shouldn't. To hatch my cunning plan, it all depended on finding the right ring, and my god did I search for it, I tried to find that special something that would suit her perfectly and believe me she is not easy to choose for. I spent a whole day, no joke a whole day going to every jeweller's in Reading, spending a great deal of time in each trying to create a shortlist of potential candidates. On my second and third passes, many of jewellers started to recognise me, I was determined to find this ring, eventually I found this delicate little white gold engagement ring with a nice twist that created a cradle for the diamond.
That was it, all I had to do was get the ring in secret into our luggage and to our holiday hotel, still unsure of when would be the right moment to ask. Admittedly I was quite nervous and kept repeating the line in my head so I would not cock it up when I picked the right time. I had kept the ring in my camera case and used all sorts of distractions to get it into my pocket ready for the right moment.
So during our first full day in Prague It was freezing cold and the temperature was around -10c, so we were both wrapped up very well. We set off to see the sights and I could not decide if I should save the moment for the night time boat ride or to ask her on the beautiful gothic Charles Bridge . As we approached the bridge I could not contain my excitement or nerves any longer, I had the ring in my pocket and I was actively looking for the right spot. Right before the bridge there is a semi circle viewing platform looking out upon the bridge and the castle on the hill where Sherrie was standing for the best view. I was getting very nervous and it was bloody freezing, Sherrie wanted to go pop into the bar across the way to warm up, so I was trying my hardest to stall her long enough to compose myself. I was trying to covertly extract the ring from its case in my pocket, but when I opened the box the ring was in its resting crease, it had fallen out and almost fell out into the river…….my word that shook my nerves, but it was so cold I had to hurry up and get on with it.
So I got down on one knee (in a puddle of slushy ice) pulled the ring safely from my pocket opened the case and uttered the words “Will you Sherrie Ann Marie Briggs, Marry me?”. She stood there in shock, looked at me and said “Are you joking?" with a huge smile on her face, still in disbelief, again she asked if I were joking. To which she suddenly jumped on me squealing out loud “yes yes yes”, I was indeed relieved and very happy that she had said yes and that I could finally stand up, as it felt like my knee had started to freeze to the icy puddle. We both rushed inside the nearest bar for a warm coffee, where she was still in a state of shock and gleaming with excitement.
So LOL in a large nutshell that was the proposal, hope you managed to keep awake and that we guarantee the wedding ceremony will be much shorter.